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Friday, 16 June 2017

(The Star) Johor Baru to get trams

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor Baru is set to join her sister city Istanbul and San Francisco with the introduction of tram services.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the services in both cities have successfully served as transportation modes for locals and tourists.

He said Irda was looking at the tramway as an option for Jalan Wong Ah Fook in downtown Johor Baru as one mode of public transportation.

“We are open to all options, including tram services, to serve the central business district to complement existing public transportation services and those in the pipeline”, Ismail told reporters yesterday after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Mitsui & Co Ltd, Medini Iskandar Malaysia, Hino Motor Sales (M) Sdn Bhd and Handal Indah Sdn Bhd.

Under the MoU, the four parties would bring the first Hino hybrid bus in the country to be operated by Handal Indah, with a trial run on July 1 for five months covering six routes in Iskandar Malaysia.

Ismail said the tram services could be one component in the Johor Baru city centre transformation project to rejuvenate and rehabilitate the city, which was founded in 1855 as Iskandar Puteri before it was renamed Johor Baru in 1862.

He said the tram services could be part of integrated public transportation services in south Johor, including the Rapid Transit Bus and Rapid Transit System linking Johor Baru and Singapore.

Hino Motor Sales managing director Ken Iwamoto said Hino hybrid buses were already in use in 13 countries including Japan, Australia and Singapore.

“Our company in Japan sold about 13,000 units of hybrid buses worldwide and the trend in most countries is to go for public buses with low carbon emission and environmental friendliness”, he said.